This week we talk to scientist and explorer Sylvia Earle, a woman who has spent almost a year of her life under water. She explains why the oceans are "not too big to fail." But she also says that just maybe, we're growing wise enough to save them.
Earle is the National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence, and former chief scientist at NOAA—plus she's a TED Prize winner who used that award to form Mission Blue, an ocean conservation initiative. Her unofficial titles go further: Time called her "Hero of the Planet," and many others call her "Her Deepness." She has set several underwater depth records, including diving to 1,250 feet, without a tether, in 1979.
Back in 1970, when some institutions of higher education were still refusing to admit women, Earle was leading female aquanauts on expeditions to the sea floor. The Tektite Program featured a team of women who lived in an undersea laboratory off the Virgin Islands for two weeks, conducting research.
This episode also features a discussion of the the latest research on how conspiracy theories fuel the denial of science on issues ranging from climate change to vaccinations, and on how scientists are reconsidering the origins of life and, yes, bringing Mars into the picture.